Our 2021-2025 Strategic Plan is now on the website. The plan will streamline ECLAM over the next 5 years, create additional resources for residents and supervisors, and reach out to veterinary colleagues to promote the diploma. Working together in focussed teams, we will encourage our colleagues to join us in improving the quality of laboratory animal science and medicine. How will you be involved?
Examination candidates will shortly be contacted with additional details about the 2021 certification examinations. ECLAM needs additional time to plan for the 2021 examinations, so candidates are asked to confirm their intentions before 31 January.
2021 Certification Examinations
ECLAM will administer the 2021 examinations to a record number of candidates. There will be significant changes in the delivery and content of the examinations.
The written examination will be held at several sites in Europe to facilitate travel, probably over two days in September. EBVS has contracted with ExamSoft to enable all Colleges to use a computerised method of examination delivery. Candidates will need to bring a laptop with the examination app installed.
Practical skills will no longer be assessed during the certification examinations. The oral examination will be conducted via online meeting. For invigilation purposes, candidates will again be required to travel to an examination site on one day.
Diversity refers to the characteristics and traits that make individuals unique, while inclusion refers to social norms and behaviours that make others feel welcome. In 2020, these are critical concepts for veterinary professional associations, veterinarians, veterinary educators, and veterinary students to grapple with, acknowledge, and promote within their associations, workplaces, colleges, and communities.
As we have seen recently and continue to see, systematic marginalisation of people because of colour, race, gender and gender identity, class or beliefs and the ensuing injustices and inequities that arise, create complex social imbalances resulting in lasting harm to people, but also create conditions of social permissiveness for ignoring the needs of animals and the state of our environment. These same types of single dominating visions allow societies to accept conditions for keeping and caring of animals that do not preserve animal integrity and interests, as well as methods of killing animals that do not recognise animal sentience and intelligence. A single-minded bias also allows societies to ignore the loss of habitat and biodiversity for short-term human financial gain.
When a One Welfare framework is employed for promoting global human, animal, and environmental health and welfare, it helps to ensure that there can’t be a single dominating perspective or point of view. With this approach, human diversity, and more broadly, biodiversity, are seen as necessary for preserving the richness of life on earth. Preserving the dignity and integrity of people, animals, and environments (both social and physical) requires ongoing collaborations and dialogues. While these may seem like lofty aspirations for local, national, and regional governments to grapple with, we all have an individual responsibility to inform ourselves and to consider our own actions and behaviours as they relate to these subjects. Supporting diversity and inclusion is not about adding another layer of ‘political correctness’ to our associations, workplaces or schools – it requires transformation, a willingness and desire to ask questions and listen to and help others, and an openness to revision of longstanding thoughts and societal beliefs for the greater good. Promoting diversity and inclusion are important for ensuring that the veterinary profession remains relevant and resilient in a changing world.
With sincere regards,
Dr. Patricia Turner
President, World Veterinary Association
EARA forming animal transport working group
EARA will be represented on two IATA Live Animals and Perishables Board (LAPB) task forces. The first will look at improving the IATA-CITES collaboration, while the other will review regulations governing NHP transport (CR 31-34).
LAPB develops regulations for the acceptance, handling and loading of live animals in air transport, compiled in the Live Animals Regulations manual. The next meeting will be in Miami, USA, in October 2020.
With the European Parliament being set to investigate EU animal welfare rules during transport, EARA would like to speed up the possibility of creating a working group of EARA members with expertise on the transport of research animals. If you are interested please contact Kirk directly email@example.com.
MEPs have set up an inquiry committee to look into alleged breaches in the application of EU animal welfare rules during transport. The new inquiry committee will look at every aspect of Regulation 1/2005 and the alleged failure of the European Commission to facilitate the World Animal Health Organisation (OIE) mission to implement international standards on animal welfare during transport.
The committee will investigate alleged violations in the application of EU law on the protection of animals during transport and related operations within and outside the EU, including by air, road, rail and sea. The Committee has one year to complete its report which will include recommendations.
It will focus on how EU rules are being implemented by Member States and whether the Commission is enforcing them properly, including the alleged failure to act upon evidence that EU rules on moving live animals across the EU, and to third countries, are being infringed. The adopted version is not yet published, but the draft can be found here.
2020 AGM and Annual Scientific Meeting
Our annual meeting will be held online in conjunction with the SGV and ESLAV on 24-25 November. If you are interested in becoming a committee or council member beginning in 2021, please let the Secretariat (ECLAM.firstname.lastname@example.org) know.
Strategic Planning underway
The ECLAM Council is developing a new 5-year strategic plan which will be presented to the members at the November AGM. The 3Rs of the plan are Revisit, Refine and Reach Out. We aim to revisit and refine the College’s processes and structure to better support the needs of our Residents and Diplomates, and to advance the College’s mission by reaching out to veterinary students and employers.
At the same time, our parent organisation, the EBVS, is also creating a new strategic plan. One objective is to attain recognition of EBVS specialities by the national competent authorities in EU Member States. Other possibilities include making residency training more compatible with personal and family obligations, and investigating multi-centre training programmes.
With the cancellation of the 2020 ECLAM certification examinations due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Examination Committee is working on restructuring the exam format for the future. Projects include new software that allows the written examination to be taken at the candidate’s workplace (with invigilation) and assessing practical skills prior to the examination. This is becoming necessary due to the growing number of exam candidates each year.
Editors Wanted, Laboratory Animals
The journal (of which ECLAM is a subscribing member) is looking for two editors to serve on a volunteer basis to assist in managing the editorial process. Responsibilities include initial overview of manuscripts to assess overall suitability for the journal, ensuring that ARRIVE guidelines are met, and selection of section editors for review.
Qualifications include a background in lab animal science, experience in writing manuscripts for publication and conduct of critical review of manuscripts. Experience as a member of an editorial board or as a section editor is preferred.
This is an excellent opportunity to be involved in the publication process as well as to sharpen your skills in writing and critical review.
Please respond by the end of September; the preferred start date is December 2020.
The annual Charles River Short Course will be available online beginning on 22 June 2020 and continuing until 31 January 2021. Nine presentations will be offered in June 2020, four in July, and will be followed by other series throughout the autumn and winter. To register, click on the link below.
Online Educational Opportunities from Other EBVS Colleges
EBVS has collated a set of learning opportunities from four other EBVS colleges, many of which may be of interest to us. I watched part of a presentation on Q fever in cattle, which was interesting, but my attention span isn’t what it used to be and so an hour and 45 minutes was a bit more than I wanted to spend. On the other hand, the 5-minute blood sample from a penguin in the Edinburgh zoo was very interesting. Download the Excel file, and let us know in the Groups.io networks what you find out!
The Council for International Organizations of Medical Sciences (CIOMS) has shared a survey on behalf of an international group of experts convened by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations International Labour Organisation (ILO) and requested that it be further distributed. The aim of the survey is to collect data about risk factors and their controls for health and safety of health workers in COVID-19. The data collected through this survey will inform high level actions and recommendations through the expert group, and additional comments are welcomed in the “Other” fields, as well as any follow-up you would like to send directly.
CIOMS asks that you further share the survey widely and rapidly with your networks of health workers, managers, decision-makers, occupational safety and health professionals, mental health and psychosocial support practitioners, infection prevention and control specialists, social sector partners and academia. It reflects the multidisciplinary collaborative force that is needed to address this critical issue in the context of COVID-19 and beyond.
The 2020 UFAW conference will be on 30 June- 1 July this year and will be both free and online. Speakers include Diplomates Sarah Wolfensohn and Adrian Smith, along with many other notable presenters. Topics include welfare indicators and assessments, restraint stress in rats, micro-expressions in social interactions, guidelines for planning studies, behaviour of re-homed dogs, and welfare issues in pet rabbits. The conference is free, but UFAW appreciates donations.
Find all the words in the puzzle that relate to anaesthetics or analgesics used in lab animals. The puzzle link below should open online, or you can go to https://mywordsearch.com/440638/Anaesthetics-and-Analgesics. Be among the first to find all the words and be recognised as an ECLAM WS Champion! And be warned– these are going to get more difficult.
Council to Meet for Strategic Planning on 20-21 April
Council will meet for two half-day sessions to discuss the results of recent surveys of Diplomates, Residents and ESLAV members. The new 5-year strategic plan will be posted on our website once the details are finalised and leaders have accepted the challenge to support ECLAM’s mission.
WVA Congress online
The 36th World Veterinary Association Congress will now be available online, with two free sessions:
The 7th Global One Health Summit on climate change and its future impact on disease burdens, food security and the economy will be online on 25 April at 20:00 CET. Representatives of several organisations including the WHO, OIE, FAO, WMA and IVSA will be presenters.
A seminar on Animal Welfare of Equine and Donkeys will be online at 20:00 CET on 2 May.
You may also register for the entire conference at a 20% discount (£77.60+VAT) until the 24th April. For the complete listing and registration, see https://wvac2020.thewebinarvet.com/.
Member Discount on CRC Press and Routledge Books
ECLAM Diplomates and Residents can obtain a 20% discount on all books and 35% off all e-books from the publisher (Taylor & Francis). The sitewide offer ends on 31 May. For a list of lab animal science books, see https://tinyurl.com/T-FBooks.
To obtain the code for the discount, complete the form below and request the Taylor & Francis code:
Council will meet via teleconference in mid-April to devise a new strategic plan. In order to represent the interests of all Diplomates, an email was sent on 2 April from ECLAM.email@example.com to all members of the College. However, many of these probably went into Spam folders due to the large number of addresses.
A work-around system is being used to send individual emails, but this is limited to 50 email addresses per day. So, please check your spam/junk email folders for this email! The subject line was: ECLAM strategic plan survey: please respond by Monday 6 April.
The second attempt to get the email to everyone had a similar subject line (Please answer 4 questions for ECLAM).
The European Animal Research Association (EARA), of which ECLAM is a member, is trying to formulate briefing materials for national governments and the EU Commission, to ensure that essential research and international collaboration can continue during the current pandemic.
EARA is requesting that ECLAM forward responses from our members on the following 5 areas in which problems may be inhibiting research. They require detailed responses with anecdotal evidence. If your information must be kept anonymous due to commercial sensitivity, ECLAM (and EARA) will anonymise the information before relaying it to relevant authorities.
You do not need to respond to all 5 questions if they are not important for you. Please email your responses to firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will assemble them into a single document to be sent to EARA’s executive director, Kirk Leech.
Problems transporting (both sending and receiving) research animals.
Problems receiving essential materials such as feed, caging and supplies, to keep your facilities open and operational.
Problems maintaining sufficient numbers of key workers in place, including animal care staff, researchers, vets and any others.
Animal welfare concerns arising linked to any of the above points.
Areas of research that will not be able to continue without urgent financial assistance.
The following tips have been provided by the American Veterinary Medical Association:
There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to the virus and to follow strict hand-washing and other hygiene protocols.
Designate your workplace as a temporary NO HANDSHAKE ZONE. Ask colleagues and clients to refrain from shaking hands (fist bumps or forearm bumps are good substitutes).
Practice good hygiene: Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after using the restroom; before eating; after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; and between contacts with others.
If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser with 60%-95% alcohol.
Place hand sanitiser, sanitising wipes, and tissues in all procedure rooms, meeting rooms, restrooms, break rooms, and other common areas.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Cough or sneeze into your elbow or use a tissue to cover your nose and mouth, then throw the tissue into the trash can.
COVID-19 symptoms are similar to those of influenza (e.g., fever, cough, and shortness of breath), and the current outbreak is occurring during a time of year when respiratory illnesses from influenza and other viruses, including other coronaviruses that cause the common cold, are highly prevalent. To prevent influenza and possible unnecessary evaluation for COVID-19, all persons more than 6 months old should receive an annual influenza vaccine. Vaccines are still available and effective in helping to prevent influenza.
Voluntary home isolation: If you are ill with symptoms of respiratory disease, such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills or fatigue, stay at home.It isrecommendedthat you remain at home until at least 24 hours after you are free of fever (37.8 degrees C) or signs of a fever without the use of fever-reducing medications.
Take steps to prevent the spread of disease among veterinary personnel and to/from clients by following guidelines and procedures laid out in the US National Association of State Public Health Veterinarian’s Compendium of Veterinary Standard Precautions for Zoonotic Disease Prevention in Veterinary Personnel. While the primary focus of this resource is controlling the spread of pathogens between animals and veterinary personnel, many of its principles apply to infection control in general and following it is simply good practice.
Our colleague Anne-Dominique Degryse reports that she knows of some first-year veterinary students in France who are very interested in finding temporary placements in lab animal medicine. If you can help, please contact the Secretariat to be put in touch with Anne.
ECLAM will hold an election this spring for a new Council member. If you can spend an hour a month in a teleconference, plus one or two face-to-face meetings each year for two years, please consider this opportunity to expand your career and fulfil your commitment to serve the College. Contact the chair of the Nominations Committee for further information.
Want to share your experience, good or bad? We are welcome all feedback. Please contact us today.
Talk to Us
Our new website now has a live chat feature– whenever the Secretariat is online.
Record numbers of credentials applicants for 2020
ECLAM received a very positive response to the initiative to invite internationally-recognised experts to apply to sit the exams. Seven people are now being evaluated by the Credentials Committee, in addition to two residents who have completed their training. Evaluations will be completed by 31 March.
Dates of AGM and Oral/Practical Exams
The Annual General Meeting of ECLAM will be on 25 November 2020 in Lausanne, Switzerland, in conjunction with the SGV/ESLAV/ECLAM Annual Scientific Meeting. We plan to webcast the AGM to those who cannot attend in person. Tentative plans for a pre-meeting day dedicated to ECLAM residents are being considered, so please plan to be in Lausanne on the 23rd November.
The oral/practical examinations will be held at the University of Lund for the second year. The dates will be 16-17 November 2020. If there are more candidates than can be examined in those two days, the time will be extended, with an aim to have each of the candidates complete their exams on one of the days. Dates for the written examinations have not been finalised yet, and they may not be in Glasgow this year due to an unexpected schedule conflict.